Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Real NSFS for all my friends

From DefenseNews, as we stand blinking at the new 3-ship run of the ship that was supposed to give us the fire support needed ashore, the ZUMWALTS, BAE looks like they have the "evolutionary" path to getting a real gun back on our ships -- and theirs.
LONDON - The possibility of British warships firing 155mm artillery is a step closer after BAE Systems announced it has signed a deal with the U.K. Ministry of Defence to build a gun to undertake land-based firing trials next year.

CORDA, BAE's consulting arm, together with the company's Land Systems business in Britain ... hope to start live-firing trials in fall 2009 with a 155mm naval gun based on the British Army's AS90 self-propelled howitzer system.

BAE said it also is exploiting the capabilities of other company business units such as Armament Systems in the United States and Bofors in Sweden.

... a similar system for the U.S. Navy - the 155mm Advanced Gun System (AGS) destined for the DDG 1000 destroyer program. No more than two DDG 1000s are likely to be built rather than the seven planned. But the AGS could find its way onto uprated Arleigh Burke DDG-51 destroyers likely to be built in their place. If the 4 million pound ($7.55 million) British contract goes according to plan, BAE hopes to move to a full technology demonstrator program ahead of possible retrofitting of the gun to existing Type 23 frigates and Type 45 destroyers, as well as an upcoming generation of warships know as the Future Surface Combatant. From Land to Sea: BAE's 155mm naval gun would be based on the British Army's AS90 self-propelled howitzer.
"In addition to providing the Royal Navy with a potential low-cost route to a significant enhancement in capability, this program will help to sustain the U.K. industrial capacity to design, upgrade and manufacture artillery and gunnery sytsems," BAE Land System executive John Kelly said.
Sure, it isn't an 8" MK-71, but at 6.1" (I know, 155mm, but grant me this little bit of Navy old school) it gives us a chance to give the Arleigh Burke what it needs to be the better gunned Light Cruiser that it really is.

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